Out of the tower, a stroll down the hill and back underground to employ the city's fantastic transit network. We took the Toei Ōedo Line 都営地下鉄大江戸線 from Akabanebashi Station 赤羽橋駅 an easy 15 minutes across town to the ever-flowing corridors of Shinjuku Station 新宿駅.
The more than 3.6 million passengers that pass through the station on an average day make Shinjuku Station 新宿駅 the world's busiest, and even towards midnight it's still bustling, but in a way that feels subdued for the number of people. The structure sprawls like a giant ant nest above and under ground for blocks, with over 200 exits and access to five adjacent stations without coming up for air.
Leaving the station we started our expedition through Shinjuku Ward 新宿区, no less busy, but at least with more space. Streets enclosed by buildings clad in giant screens and neon signs, connected together by a web of alleys.
Taking a turn down an unassuming path led to the grove of Hanazono Shrine 花園神社, in sudden contrast to the surrounding area. Peace, quiet and yozakura 夜桜 (“night cherry blossoms”).